The Rituals of Ghost-Punching

gp_logo05When it comes to ghost-punching, there are rituals, and then there are RITUALS. For some, you need a silver dagger, a Latin textbook, and a vial of blood from a third-rate reality TV star. For others… You’ll have to read on.


Now that we’ve established the three keys of the Ghost Punchers storyworld (that is, its setting, characters, and conflict), I’d like to take a closer look at the setting itself. As past-me once wrote, one of the elements of a good setting is its rituals — that is, the recurring scenarios that are common to the setting.


While the Ghost Punchers setting will certainly have its fair share of “draw a chalk circle and shout gibberish while the forces of darkness try to destroy you” rituals, today I’m looking at the second type, which are of a more metaphorical sort.

The Horror

This is the point in every Ghost Punchers story where someone realizes that (a) the supernatural is real, and (b) it wants to eat my soul. This usually leads to…

The Call

This is where the ghost punchers are drawn into the story. It might be a literal call (“Hi, I found your name in the phone book under exterminators and exorcists.”), an assignment from a superior, or a psychic distress signal only the team’s resident mystic can sense (“I’m sensing fear and anguish over a haunted toaster.”). The form of the call varies according to story and the characters, but it’s usually there.

The Confrontation

This is where the real ghost-punching takes place. The punchers know what ghosts to punch, where to find them and just how to punch them.


Is this a comprehensive list of every possible ritual? Of course not; these are just the first ones that occurred to me. Not every Ghost Punches story needs to have all these rituals. Some might not have any of them. And each probably has its own variation that best suits the story being told.


Rituals are fun, but they exist for a reason. They’re tools to help you tell stories. How do these Ghost Punchers rituals help create ghost-punching tales? Come back net week, and I’ll tell you all about it.

One Response to “The Rituals of Ghost-Punching”

  1. [...] last week’s entry in the Ghost Punchers series, I wrote about story rituals — those running gags and recurring [...]

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